A hit song from the legendary Oakland funk band Tower of Power warned us that “there’s only so much oil in the ground.” Just like petroleum, there’s only so much metal in the ground, and when it’s gone, it’s gone. That means we all have to do what we can to recycle existing metals and keep what we can in the ground. This is not a wholly selfless endeavor. Here are some of the benefits of recycling steel and other scrap metals.
Demolition work can take you to some interesting sites. You could find yourself taking down a tall building in the middle of nowhere; on the other hand, you could wind up very delicately demolishing a structure while leaving its close neighbors untouched. Either way, demolition calls for the removal of scrap metals for recycling, and you’ll want to turn to an electromagnet for lifting this metal up and out of the way for further sorting. But not every electromagnet is suited for every job. Fortunately, when the conditions preclude a traditional electromagnet, you can turn to a battery-powered model to do the job. Here are some of the advantages of using a battery-powered scrap handling magnet on your next tough site.
After the COVID-19 pandemic put many construction projects on hold throughout much of 2020, the beginning of a post-vaccine world heralds a belated but welcome return to the vigorous construction schedules that shape our ever-changing surroundings. As we get back into full swing, it can be easy to pick up where we left off and take a cavalier approach to jobsite safety. Just as so much of our life requires a “new normal” approach, so too does vigilance on the construction site. Here’s how we can use the return to begin rethinking how we keep our construction workers safe in 2021 and in the years to come.
When you think about electromagnets in industry, there’s generally one picture that comes to mind: a big magnet on a bigger crane, swooping over a pile of scrap metal and pulling out iron and steel, moving it from one spot to another while holding the heavy scrap in place through sheer magnetic power. To be sure, you’ll see lots of magnets catching ferrous scrap if you keep an eye peeled on demolition sites and scrap yards. But electromagnets do more than sort scrap—much more. There are some surprising uses of industrial magnets you probably didn’t know about if you’ve only been concentrating on their most obvious roles in heavy industry. We’ll take a look at a few of these interesting applications below.
Demolition sites are busy places. You have the workers, the building set to be demolished and dismantled, and the tools, equipment, and heavy machinery the workers need to do it. As busy as these sites may be, there’s still room for one more crucial piece of equipment: an industrial scrap magnet. Eminently familiar to those in the recycling industry, this specialized heavy-duty electromagnet can also find a great deal of use on demolition jobs. There are very good reasons to have an industrial scrap magnet at your demolition site. If your arsenal of demolition equipment doesn’t yet include electromagnets, here’s why it should.
Electric motors transform electrical energy into mechanical energy by harnessing magnetic fields to apply torque, or rotational force. Electric motors can be brushed, meaning they use additional parts to generate a current, or brushless, which use permanent electromagnets instead. They can run on direct current or alternate current. Some electric motors are even “unrolled” and apply linear force rather than rotational force. No matter the differences in specifications, operating an electric motor—or any electric equipment—requires the utmost safety. While most people can operate their electric motors for everyday use without incident, most safety issues arise during attempts to repair them. In this guide to how to safely use an electric motor, we will go over some of the dos and don’ts of motor operation and maintenance for all the different variations of electric motors.(more…)
In myriad industrial settings, fluids have to do more than lie idle in a reservoir. We put fluids to work throughout systems, and in order to get them moving, we rely on pumps to get the ball—or more accurately the water, or the solvent, or the slurry—rolling. When dealing with low-viscosity fluids that offer little resistance, a centrifugal pump is often the best variant for sending them through process piping and other systems. Unlike other models, centrifugal pumps use rotational energy to circulate their fluids. Within this broad category are several different types of centrifugal pumps, a few of which we’ll examine here.(more…)
The elevator—city living would be nearly impossible without it. We take elevators for granted as a modern convenience, but an elevator failure can be downright paralytic to a midrise or highrise building where not everyone can rely on using long flights of stairs. If you’re managing a property with elevators, you likely have a keen interest in making sure your elevators remain fully operational at all times. If an elevator should go out of service, one of these common causes of elevator breakdowns is likely the reason why.(more…)
No matter what you’re working on, you need a motor to get things moving. Electric motors take the raw power of an electrical current and convert that electrical energy into mechanical energy. Electricity, magnetism, and force come together to power electric motors across a wide swath of applications. Tools, appliances, robotics, and CNC technology all rely on different types of electric motors in order to operate. Electric motors come in several varieties with differences in electric current, performance level, construction, and efficiency, all of which make different motors better suited to different jobs. We’ll take a look at some of them here.
Electricity travels in one of two currents: alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC). In a direct current, the current flows in only one direction at a constant rate, while an alternating current reverses back and forth in what you would graph as a sine wave. The most common source of alternating current is from plugging a plug into a wall socket, whereas DC power is better associated with batteries.
Motors that run on DC make efficient use of their energy and can manage high levels of rotational force, or torque. When you need high torque that stays high, a direct-current motor is the way to go. Elevators, cranes, and conveyor belts are just three of the situations where DC motors come into play.
One of the most common and versatile varieties of DC motor is the stepper motor, named for its incremental revolutions. Stepper motors have a permanent magnet in one of two places: the rotor or the stator. The location of the electromagnet determines the peak performance of the stepper—magnetized stators offer higher speeds than magnetized rotors. In some cases, a stepper uses a hybrid model where two rotors with opposite polarity turn within a magnetized stator. 3-D printers and CNC mills for hobbyists make use of stepper motors, which are affordable and less likely to break down than other more complex DC motors. The downside to stepper motors is that when they lose magnetization or wear down, they’ll usually require outright replacement.
The servo motor is a more advanced form of DC motor. Like the stepper motor, the servo motor operates in a series of discrete increments, or steps, but a servo motor is able to attain a considerably higher RPM than a simple stepper. Servo motors attach to a transmission, or gearbox, which allows them to increase their torque while increasing their speed far beyond what a stepper motor could handle, along with a controller that sends more intricate signals to the motor. 3-D printers, CNC mills, and other commercial and industrial applications will use servo motors rather than stepper motors, where higher speed and precision are necessary. However, with higher speeds, gearboxes, and controllers all involved in the operation of a servo motor, they are more prone to breakdown than stepper motors from the addition of so many more moving parts.
Brushed vs. Brushless Motors
AC and DC motors alike can vary in whether they incorporate brushing. A brush, in this context, is an additional component that conducts electrical current between the rotor and stator of the motor. These brushes are typically made of carbon and a motor will generally include several brushes. The brushes’ points of contact touch a slip ring, which transfers power from the stationary object to the rotating object. While brushes are effective in conducting current, the friction of constant rotation can wear down the brushes. With this in mind comes the brushless motor, which substitutes a permanent electromagnet for the carbon brush and vastly reduces damage from friction. Brushless DC motors, which are very close to stepper motors, are smaller than their brushed counterparts, as well as longer lasting. Brushless AC motors use permanent electromagnets to generate magnetic fields in their stators, which turn both the stator and rotor. The advent of the AC brushless motor was an important development in the field of motion control, where their powerful current and high durability make them an attractive choice.
Not all motors are concerned with rotation. By “unrolling” the stator and rotor, a linear motor substitutes torque, or rotational force, for linear force. To move something along only one axis, a linear motor can be highly effective. Like stepper motors, linear motors experience little wear as they work, but unlike the rotary-based stepper motor, linear motors can achieve high speeds and high accuracy while avoiding this wear. Looms use linear motors to slide the shuttle along, and you’ll even find linear motors powering the sliding doors in commercial buildings. The railgun, a cannon which substitutes an explosive propellant for electromagnetic energy, is effectively a weaponized instance of a linear motor.
Cutting out the middleman is always advantageous. One drawback of servo motors is that they require transmissions, or gearboxes, to improve torque. A direct drive motor streamlines the process by connecting the load directly to the motor. Like servo motors, direct drive motors are most often brushless and rely on permanent electromagnets. Direct drive motors, however, still require dedicated and precise control mechanisms. You can find direct drive motors running at high and low speeds alike in a number of industrial and consumer applications, from record players to CNC machinery.
Get Your Motor Running With Moley
Across the different types of electric motors, you should be able to find the type and model that’s right for you. Moley Magnetics offers AC and DC motors from such esteemed brands as Hyundai, Worldwide, Baldor, and Leeson. Furthermore, they also service and repair those motors, protecting and protracting your valuable investments. When a factory-standard motor model isn’t quite what you need for your job, Moley Magnetics offers custom electric motors that are purpose-built just for you and your specific application. If ever those custom motors should need a second look, Moley provides on-site electric motor repair services as well, providing the service after the sale that distinguishes the best motor providers. Shop our selection of motors or inquire about customization and get the gears turning on your next project.
Don’t let the freeways fool you, and don’t read too much into the inadequate state of passenger rail in America. The American network of freight rail is still an integral segment of our national infrastructure, allowing goods to travel cross-country with higher efficiency than by highway and lower fuel consumption than by air. As our nation rebuilds itself, part of those efforts will involve expanding our railroads while rehabilitating extant but crumbling tracks. If your firm can play a role in making sure quality railroads and railways keep crisscrossing the nation, here’s a look at some of the equipment needed for railway construction.(more…)